First Set of NSPIRE Standards Posted

HUD has posted the first set of standards for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration on HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) website. HUD is looking for input and comments on the clarity of the deficiencies, the accuracy of the rationales, and the overall usability of the standards. These new standards will be used during inspections for agencies participating in the demonstration. Instructions on how to submit feed can be found here.

NSPIRE will change the way that public housing agencies, owners, and agents (POAs) inspect public housing properties for agencies that voluntarily participate in the demonstration. The NSPIRE demonstration aims to ensure that public housing units are adequately maintained through regular upkeep and maintenance of units throughout the year, rather than immediately before inspections. Agencies interested in pre-registering for the demonstration may do so here.

Notice on Rate Reduction Incentives Released

On September 3, HUD published Notice PIH-2019-24. The notice provides PHAs with guidance on the use and eligibility of the Rate Reduction Incentive (RRI). The RRI is a financial incentive for PHAs that take special steps and efforts beyond what is required by statute and/or regulation to reduce their utility rate. The Notice replaces Notice PIH-2014-18 (HA) and supplements information included within the current Energy Performing Contracting (EPC), Utility Partnership Program (UPP), and the Operating Fund Grant processing grant notices. The notice covers the RRI application process, activities that may be eligible for an RRI, actions that are not eligible to receive RRI, and RRI interaction with an EPC.

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FY 2020 FMRs Published

Tomorrow, HUD will publish the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 on its website. A pre-publication copy of the notice was published today in the Federal Register–titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2020.” These FMRs will become effective on October 1, 2019. Comments for these FMRs (or requests for reevaluation for specific FMRs) are due within 30 days of their official publication.

Click below to read more.

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HUD Updates VMS Quick Reference Guide and VMS User’s Manual

Earlier today, the Financial Management Center at HUD sent an email stating that it has updated the Voucher Management System (VMS) Quick Reference Guide and the VMS User’s Manual. The updated text has been highlighted in green, so that it is easy to find within each document.

According to the email, the changes “provide clarification about the specific reporting requirements related to RAD, VASH and Mainstream programs.” Additionally, the following definitional fields have been updated (list taken from the email):

  • All HAP Expense data – the change is located in the narrative found immediately before the Field Definitions;
  • All Voucher HAP Expenses After the First of the Month;
  • Rental Assistance Component 1 (HAP);
  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HAP);
  • All Voucher HAP Expenses for Contracts Effective After the First of the Month;
  • 5-Year Mainstream – this change is located in the narrative found immediately before the Field Definitions;
  • 5-Year Mainstream HAP;
  • Number of PBVs Under HAP and Not Leased with Vacancy Payment and Associated Vacancy HAP Expense; and
  • Number of PBVs Under HAP and Not Leased.

The updated VMS Quick Reference Guide can be found here.

The updated VMS User’s Manual can be found here.

Mainstream Voucher FY 2019 NOFA FAQ Updated

Yesterday, HUD updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for mainstream vouchers.

The FY 2019 NOFA would make an additional $150 million available for mainstream vouchers (a previous NOFA allocated $98 million). The application deadline for this additional round of funding is September 5, 2019.

The updated FAQ can be found here.

The Department’s Mainstream Voucher page can be found here.

[Edit: Some of the links above were corrected to point to the correct documents or websites and the correct deadline has been added.]

HUD, FHA Issue Condominium Rule

Last week HUD released the final rule on FHA approval for single-family condominiums. HUD touts the rule as opening the FHA single-family loan products to both younger, first-time home buyers and seniors looking to age-in-place.

The rule sets the policies to update the Single Family Policy Handbook, expand single-unit approval, establish minimum owner-occupancy requirements, limit FHA insurance concentration in condominium projects, and institute commercial/nonresidential space limits.  The rule is effective October 15, 2019, and HUD estimates that 20,000 to 60,000 condominium units could be eligible for FHA-insured financing annually.

HUD’s press release on the Condominium Approval Final Rule can be viewed here.

The Condominium Approval Final Rule is available here.

Complimentary Webinar!! Fair Market Rent Appeals – August 27, 2pm EDT

On Tuesday, August 27, at 2pm eastern time, NAHRO will be hosting a complimentary webinar in preparation for the release of the 2020 Fair Market Rents and the appeal process. Below is information on the session and the registration link. This session is for agencies of all sizes from the smallest to the largest and will discuss HUD’s process, the options and first-hand PHA experiences.

Using Research Surveys to Raise Your FMR

Do the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) in your area match on-the-ground rental prices that your voucher applicants encounter? If they do not, then this webinar will show you how to increase your FMRs. You will learn about two methods to conduct research surveys. This research survey data can be submitted to HUD to show that on-the-ground rental prices exceed the FMR, allowing HUD to increase the FMR to match the actual rental prices in your area. Bring your questions and comments and prepare your PHA for the 2020 FMRs to be released in a few weeks!

Please register for Using Research Surveys to Raise Your FMR on Aug 27, 2019 2:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/773057130839951117?source=blog

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

$27.8 Million Awarded to PHAs to Reduce Lead Hazards

HUD awarded $27.8 million to PHAs in 25 states to identify and reduce lead-based paint hazards. These competitive grants can be used for risk assessments, abatement, and interim controls as defined in Section 1004 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. Grants would be subject to normal PHA regulations. A list of PHAs that received the funding can be found here.

According to HUD, the Department will award a record $330 million later this year to clean up lead-based paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned low-income housing. 

Safety and Security Funding Notice Posted

On August 19, HUD released Notice PIH 2019-22 titled “Emergency Safety and Security Grants Annual Funding Notification and Application Process.” The notice provides guidance to PHAs seeking to apply for Emergency Capital Needs funding for safety and security measures. Funding is available to address needs resulting from unforeseen or unpreventable emergencies and natural disasters, excluding Presidentially Declared disasters, occurring in the current fiscal year. HUD is including the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning as a potential emergency safety need for public housing residents and including costs for the purchase, repair, replacement, and installation of carbon monoxide detectors as eligible activities for emergency safety and security grant funding. HUD will only accept one emergency safety and security grant per PHA, however, the Department may elect to accept separate applications from a single PHA in the same fiscal year for funding to address crime and drug-related activity and for funding for the purchase, repair, replacement, and installation of carbon monoxide detector. Safety and security funding will be limited to $250,000 per application. 

Applications and the application deadline will be posted on HUD’s Office of Capital Improvement Website shortly. 

NSPIRE Demonstration Notice Released

HUD will publish it’s Notice of Demonstration to Assess the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) and Associated Protocols in the Federal Register tomorrow. The NSPIRE demonstration will change the way that public housing agencies, owners, and agents (POAs) inspect public housing properties. HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) wants to ensure that public housing units are adequately maintained, so they are developing the NSPIRE protocol to emphasize regular upkeep and maintenance of units throughout the year, rather than immediately before inspections. NSPIRE scores will be advisory, and agencies will keep their current UPCS scores during their participation in the demonstration. Through the Notice, HUD is seeking comment on the proposed, voluntary demonstration. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The demonstration is also anticipated to begin 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Interested agencies may pre-register for the demonstration here

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